Remember how Fox showed footage from Deadpool at Comic-Con last year and a pirated version showed up online? Well, that’s not going to happen this year. Because Fox won’t be giving would-be footage bootleggers the opportunity.
The Wrap reports that 20th Century Fox has decided not to give a presentation in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con this year. Apparently, the studio thinks it can’t prevent any exclusive footage from being pirated and released online, so it’s decided not to bother promoting its upcoming films in the con’s biggest venue. Fox’s decision was probably made even easier by the fact that its only genre movie that will likely have finished footage is Assassin’s Creed, which doesn’t have nearly the Comic-Con cache of one of the X-Men-associated films.
In one way, Fox is just following in the footsteps of Warner Bros., which was furious when the Suicide Squad footage was pirated. In another way, it’s joining Marvel, who also elected not to give Hall H presentations last year—although they didn’t point to piracy as the reason for their absence.
Piracy is certainly a problem if the footage is meant to only be a Comic-Con exclusive. Bootlegged footage is usually bad quality footage, and no studio wants that to be the first thing people see from its movie. But the real reason everyone shows up to San Diego is to get hype and headlines. People being desperate to see things is probably a good thing. See Deadpool. Avoiding Comic-Con makes sense if you don’t think what you have will get enough attention to justify the expense.
But, if The Wrap report is true, Fox didn’t say “we don’t have anything.” It said, “We can’t trust some people, so we’re going to trust no one.”